Seattle Creates Priority Parking for Musicians

"Priority: Musicians Loading & Unloading" sign

As part of its “City of Music” initiative, the city of Seattle has created priority parking for musicians.

The musicians priority parking was launched this week at five popular music venues which now feature a “Priority Musicians Loading & Unloading” sign at their load and unload zones intended to help local musicians get their gear in and out of gigs with less hassle.

The “City of Music” program is intended to promote the local music industry in a variety of ways, this priority parking just the latest effort by the city to support local musicians. However, an official with the Seattle Department of Transportation, Dawn Schellenberg, admitted that the signs are mostly symbolic, as the city lacks any official enforcement power for the priority parking:

It's not like we have a badge that says that someone is a musician. Our hope is that people will just realize they are in front of a music venue and that there are musicians that are coming to use it and they will allow them the space to unload.

So far the program is quite popular with musicians and venue operators. The city is encouraging other venues that host live music regularly to adopt the musician priority parking signs as well. Venues must offer live music at least three days a week regularly and hire an average of sixteen individual performers or performances a week to qualify.

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